Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) growth response to wood fiber based growing media in ebb-and-flow system as a function of the electrical conductivity of nutrient solution and pot size
Horticultural production systems are under pressure to find environmentally friendly growing media. Peat is currently the most popular substrate for fresh potted herbs production; however, this raw material is not sustainable due to the large amount of greenhouse gases released during its harvesting. Therefore, the goal of the study was to test the performance of various commercial wood fiber products and compare them with peat and coir in an ebb-and-flow production system with basil (Ocimum basilicum L. 'Marian'). Basil plants were grown in three different pot sizes (6, 9 and 12 cm in diameter) and under various fertigation regimes (EC 1, 2 and 3). Height and biomass of the plants were recorded when the best performing plants reached the commercial stage. The tallest plants and greatest biomass were produced in peat and coir, however, the results confirm that wood fiber can be a promising substrate alternative. Further research is needed to study, among others topics, how to modify some properties of wood fibers to fulfil their potential as a replacement for non-sustainable growing media in production of herbs in pots.
Kusnierek, K., Thomsen, M., Sønsteby, A. and Woznicki, T. (2021). Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) growth response to wood fiber based growing media in ebb-and-flow system as a function of the electrical conductivity of nutrient solution and pot size. Acta Hortic. 1317, 133-140
basil, hydroponics, wood substrate, wood fiber, ebb-and-flow, growing media